German materials giant Covestro will be hoping its range of luminous clothing stands out from the crowd at the K 2016 plastics trade fair in October.
The system (pictured) comprises a flexible and formable film made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
The TPU is the substrate for the printed copper circuits, which can also be bent and stretched.
For the smart circuits, copper films are laminated onto the polyurethane films.
Coated TPU films can be stretched repeatedly up to 60%, and on a one-time basis by as much as 300%.
“The films are resistant to standard etching and imaging processes,” said Covestro film expert Wolfgang Stenbeck. “Formable electronic systems can also be directly laminated onto textiles, as in the case of the luminous dress.”
The production technology was developed as part of the European Stella project, funded by the European Commission.
Formable electronic systems can also assist patients with therapy and help athletes monitor their training.